On Purpose, For a Purpose

By Jenn Schmidt
Office Assistant/Graphic Design

Planned. Created. Wanted. Loved. Adopted. Redeemed. Even more, Chosen; very much on purpose, for a purpose.

We are than a flesh bag of bones and blood, with a random, environmentally produced personality and a purpose determined by the society and the circumstances we are raised in. We are more than a name, more than a job, bigger than any past of failures and mistakes. God has planned and created you, but also know that God has chosen you. You have been chosen ON purpose, FOR a purpose.

One of my favorite men in the bible is Paul (known more by his Hebrew name of Saul). A man known to be feared; known for the persecution and killings of the followers of Jesus. To the people who knew him, or even simply knew OF him, his identity was deemed to be a soldier; a persecutor; a murderer. He had an identity that society gave him, that his actions gave him, but this was not his real identity; this was not where his story had to end. Where the world saw one identity, God saw another. God saw the real Saul; the one He himself created and purposed him to be.

God loved, chased down, forgave and redeemed Saul, not because of anything he had done, but because of who he was: His son. His real identity was not dependent on anything he could earn or what his earthly status was; his only identity was that which God himself had predetermined it to be.

Saul came to Christ, allowed God to rescue and redeem him, and Saul became a new creation; he took on a ‘new’ identity. Maybe it would be more truthful to say that he dropped his false identity and put on the truth of who He was.  Because of this, Saul would then become an apostle, an author of almost half the New Testament, and was considered one of the most important figures of his time. He went from being someone that induced absolute fear by walking into the room, to someone that even today still instills hope to every nation through his writings in the bible.

 God didn’t just make us, but He created us, on purpose and for a purpose and nothing we ever do or say comes as a shock or a surprise to Him. We are not so powerful that we could derail the plans of God by our refusal to accept His hand. Neither are we a mistake by any means; He created us in His image, and yes, we can feel that we royally mess that up, but He will not allow our faults, failures or mistakes to define who we are nor change our purposes. He will only use them that much more to show His power, His majesty, and His love for us.

We see proof of this in men like Paul and Moses - both men who could have been thought of as completely messing up their own purposes. Paul had been totally on the opposite end of the spectrum as his purpose, and Moses was so afraid after killing an Egyptian man, that he ran away. God still used them in ways they could never have imagined. Both Moses and Paul became major inspirational leaders of their time; Paul became an incredible apostle, writing an impressive portion of the New Testament. God may have let Moses run for a little while, but He went to Him; He called him out and used him to lead so many people out of enslavement, abuse and hopelessness to freedom and towards God’s promises.

 Even in the times when we doubt the fact that He can use us because we think we are so insignificant or unimportant, that we are too small or thinking that the situation is too out of reach, or maybe too out of control.

 Take little David for example, out tending his flock of sheep. His brothers, all older than him, all out doing things he couldn’t, because he was still too young and too small. Maybe he wondered as well about his purpose in life. He maybe thought it couldn’t be more than what he was already doing; maybe he dreamt that he would one day be a father, and a grandfather, maybe he could start a business with his sheep, or make something from their wool. Maybe one day he dreamed about being a soldier like his brothers - but I sure bet he didn’t expect his purpose to be what it turned out to be. I don’t think he woke up one morning, thinking to himself, ‘Today, I’m going to knock a giant’s block off. I’m going to show them who’s small’. He didn’t expect that when he was playing meals-on-wheels, delivering lunch to his brothers on the battlefield, that he would be the one to step passed every other man in that army, and do the one thing they couldn’t. He didn’t expect God to use him to slay that giant. And yet … God did. When David trusted God for guidance and trusted on God’s strength and held confidence in who he was, and who his Father was, David stepped into purpose without hesitation.

Our job is not to always know the exact purpose God has for us. Sometimes, He allows us to know before hand, and sometimes we are simply to trust that when He says, “I know the plans, I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11), that our Papa God actually means it. Take a look at the verse - it doesn’t say, ‘IF I have plans for you’, or ‘IF’ He has purpose for us, it says He KNOWS the plans/purpose for us; for God to know the plans, there would first be a plan, right? We can rest assured that God has a plan and a purpose for every one of us.

In the hard times, it’s easy to ask questions. When our minds are riddled with battles of fear and other oppressions, it’s easy to doubt those plans. Now I know you’ve probably heard it; maybe you’ve seen it somewhere. Maybe skimmed passed it somewhere.

‘Perhaps you were made for such a time as this. ‘
 This quote actually came from the book of Esther (4:14), about a woman who was put in an unusual and probably terrifying predicament. Marrying a king may not seem so bad to us, but in her time, marrying a king didn’t necessarily mean a carefree life of luxury.

Even the queen herself wasn’t allowed to talk to the king without first being invited. After becoming a queen, Esther’s life and the lives of the Jewish people came into dire jeopardy when the Jewish people were slated for genocide. With her life, and the lives of her people being threatened, I can only imagine her anxiety levels, the panic she felt, and probably a whole new level of fear. During this time, I bet she thought the situation was hopeless, or maybe she felt pretty helpless at the very least, but this is when God was able to use her for His purposes. She stood in the presence of the king, even though it brought great fear and risk to do so and was bold enough to speak truth to the king. It brought safety to her people, saving their lives as well as her own.

She didn’t preplan what her purpose would be, and she didn’t see it coming - and it probably took an unbelievable amount of courage to step passed her giant fear and step up into what was needed. However, in a time when things got hard, she didn’t give in and curl up into a ball of fear, but like David, she chose to trust in the truth of who she was, and who her Father was. This opened the door for her to step into the purposes God had for her.

How do we know for sure that God has a plan for us? Well, let me ask you - are you still breathing? God has a plan for you. Are you willing to trust God’s guidance? Then He can use you. When you avail yourself to God, He will use you. When you offer yourself to God, He will make you a disciple. God is good. He can and will use anyone that will humble themselves before Him, willing to trust Him. In Numbers 22:28, we see that God, frustrated when man wouldn’t listen, even resorted to using a donkey! Are you not higher than a donkey?
We are all chosen by God’s grace. The things we are called to do may be different; maybe even very, very different, but the one thing we all have indisputably in common is that we are all chosen ON purpose, FOR His purpose, because of His grace. We will never find our own purpose in life, or find perfect fulfillment, satisfaction or joy by looking just into ourselves or through trying to derive it from the world. We will only find all that we are, and all our purposes, and full joy if we look to the One we were created by, and created for. If you allow Him to place you in the right place, and at the right time, you will be the next person God uses to do the next thing for Him.

(excerpt from "Storm be still",  Jenn Schmidt - 2021)

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